Bisphosphonates are drugs that can help manage bone problems when prostate cancer has spread to the bones. If cancer spreads to your bones, it may damage and weaken them. This can cause bone pain and increase your risk of broken bones.
Your bones are made of living tissue and are constantly changing. In healthy bones, cells are always breaking down and rebuilding bone tissue - this is called the bone cycle. When prostate cancer spreads to the bone, it upsets the careful balance between the breakdown of old bone and the building of new bone.
Bisphosphonates prevent the breakdown of bone and encourage bone building in places where too much bone has been broken down. This can help to relieve pain. Bisphosphonates can also be used to treat a condition called hypercalcaemia which is high levels of calcium in the blood.
In some hospitals, bisphosphonates might also be used to manage bone thinning caused by hormone therapy, or to help prevent and slow down further bone damage.

• Bisphosphonates help to relieve bone pain and stop it getting worse. They can also help to prevent any new bone pain.
• You may find it easier to move around if you have less bone pain.
• Bisphosphonates may help to reduce your risk of broken bones.
• Bisphosphonates lower the amount of calcium in your blood and treat the symptoms of hypercalcaemia.

• Like all treatments, bisphosphonates can cause side effects
• You will have to travel to the hospital every three or four weeks for treatment
• Bisphosphonates can take up to three months to start helping with bone pain
• You may need to have regular dental check-ups
• Bisphosphonate drugs may affect how well they kidneys work
• Bisphosphonates may slightly increase your risk of heart problems